PennDOT, SEPTA plan to reduce Schuylkill Expressway congestion

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- PennDOT and SEPTA have announced a multi-faceted, multi-million dollar plan to reduce congestion between Philadelphia and King of Prussia on the Schuylkill Expressway.

The idea is to better manage the traffic on the interstate and on surrounding streets.

"We believe this combination of real time traffic management, more frequent transit service and the improvement of signal systems on our adjacent arterial roads will collectively made this corridor a smother one for everyone to travel on," said Leslie Richards of PennDOT.

First, PennDOT plans to add new electronic signage, allowing the transit agency to remotely change the speed limit to adjust to real-time traffic conditions.

PennDOT will move toward allowing traffic to use the outside shoulders as part-time travel lanes between the PA Turnpike Interchange and the Blue Route and on I-76 west between Route 1 and Belmont Avenue.

In conjunction, SEPTA plans to replace and improve its Conshohocken rail station and adding a new parking garage.

Signage on the expressway will let motorists know of train departures and available parking. Plus, SEPTA is adding new trains with more capacity.

"We will be introducing bi-level trains into our fleet. This equipment will arrive over the next few years," said Jeffrey Knueppel of SEPTA.

New bicycle storage facilities will be added along with improvements to the Schuylkill River Trail.

PennDOT also wants to take over and control some of the traffic signals on the streets surrounding the Schuylkill. They're also considering ramp meters to control the flow of traffic onto the highway.

Work on some of the improvements will begin next year.

The total price tag is more than $125 million.
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